Tags: art, aboriginal culture, park
Birrarung Marr, on the north bank of the Yarra River next to Federation Square, is Melbourne's newest major park, opened in 2002. Its name comes from the language of the Wurundjeri people who originally inhabited this area, 'Birrarung' means 'river of mists' while â€˜Marrâ€™ refers to the side of the river. The Birrarung Wilam (meaning 'River Camp') installation celebrates the diversity of Victoriaâ€™s indigenous culture by interpresting stories from local communites through public artworks. A winding, textured pathway acknowledges the significance of the eel as a traditional food source for groups camped by the river. Large rocks incised with animal drawings enclose a performance space, and closer to the river a semi-circle of metal shields represents each of the five groups of the Kulin Nation. On the outside wall of the ArtPlay building are silver touch panels featuring audio recordings of indigenous people telling their personal stories. The artists who created these works were Vicki Couzens, Lee Darroch and Treahna Hamm. Other features include; Deborah Halpernâ€™s Angel sculpture; Speakersâ€™ Corner; and the Federation Bells, which ring three times each day with different compositions.